Note-writing practices are generally ineffective

Knowledge work should accrete, but Most people take only transient notes.

In part because Note-writing practices provide weak feedback, people don’t even notice how ineffective their note-writing practices are. They develop some baseline level of note-writing skill and mostly stay there (People generally develop skills to a plateau and then stop). Expert performance is not well-defined, so it’s not obvious that people aren’t performing well (Salience of improvement drives skill development). All this is true of other core knowledge work skills, too: Core practices in knowledge work are often ad-hoc.

Much of what’s written about trying to improve these practices is misguided: “Better note-taking” misses the point; what matters is “better thinking”

By contrast: Evergreen note-writing as fundamental unit of knowledge work

Last updated 2023-07-13.